In her first statement as prime minister Theresa May said of the “underdog”: “I know you’re working around the clock, I know you’re doing your best and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle.” She was not talking about entrepreneurs, but it describes their lives perfectly.
While the share of female employment in large firms has increased dramatically, this hasn't been reflected in the make-up of executive boards.
Women’s representation on the FTSE 100 has more than doubled to 26 per cent in less than five years, with “realistic, achievable and stretching targets for businesses” being a key driver of progress, according to former trade minister Lord Davies.
The subject of quotas has been a greatly debated subject. Lord Davies' target of 25 per cent women in boardrooms “within sight”, but Vince Cable has suggested that quotas could be enforced if objective is not met. But how do women truly feel about the subject? This one of the questions asked at our inaugural First Women Summit, which draws on the phenomenal network of pioneering women the Awards has created to educate, mentor and inspire. The results were quite intriguing.
Executive coach Helen Croft of The Results Centre discusses the issues surrounding gender equality at senior levels of business.
Few people would dispute that gender imbalance at the highest levels of management is an issue for business – women currently account for around 20 per cent of board membership in FTSE 100 companies.
Gill Riley started GGR Group in 1995 with just £5,000 and has built it into a £16m global construction firm. We quiz her about work/life balance and her advice to the next generation.
Annoushka Ducas, one of the country's top fine jewellery designers, on work ethic, staying sane and women on boards.
The number of women in FTSE 100 board posts won’t budge unless quotas are introduced, says Jane Shepherdson, boss of female fashion chain Whistles.
If male corporate culture is the biggest barrier to women reaching senior levels, would the situation be different if Eton – arguably the most powerful all-male club in the world – admitted women?
Data suggests that the drive to increase female board representation has stalled; a discouraging setback.
Thomas de Freitas argues against quotas, believing: "what our companies truly need are the very best people who earn their jobs through merit, regardless of whether they are male or female".